{ "timeline": { "headline":"An overview of our history", "type":"default", "text":"

This timeline shows just a few of the events that have taken place since our beginnings 175 years ago.

", "startDate":"1810", "asset": { "media":"../wp-content/themes/gerrards/images/timeline/timeline.jpg", "credit":"", "caption":"" }, "date": [ { "startDate":"2014", "endDate":"", "headline":"Training the next generation", "text":"", "asset": { "media":"http://gerrardsbakery.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/nextgen.jpg", "credit":"", "caption":"Craft from the cradle, the joy of a school holiday visit to the bakery" } }, { "startDate":"2013", "endDate":"", "headline":"Gerrards celebrate 175 years", "text":"", "asset": { "media":"http://gerrardsbakery.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/2013.jpg", "credit":"", "caption":"Gerrards celebrate an incredible milestone of 175 years of baking, providing jobs for generations of families – and attracting personal congratulations from Wales’ First Minister Carwyn Jones." } }, { "startDate":"2012", "endDate":"", "headline":"In Safe Hands", "text":"

Going forward in safe hands , with Dawn having already been one of the first women to be elected to the British Confectioners Association, and become the President of the Interational Richemont Club. The Craft in her fingers and the love of baking in her being. Gerrards are also chosen as Finalists for the ‘Craft Business Award’ in the annual Baking Industry Awards.

", "asset": { "media":"http://gerrardsbakery.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/1996-2.jpg", "credit":"", "caption":"" } }, { "startDate":"2010", "endDate":"", "headline":"Commitment to supporting the local community", "text":"

Gerrards continues its commitment to supporting its local communities, taking on 6 new stores following the demise of family bakers ‘Eccleston’s Bakery’ with the retirement of David Eccleston – keeping local craft baking in Bala, Corwen, Llangollen, Chirk, and Gresford.

"}, { "startDate":"2006", "endDate":"", "headline":"Gerrards are shortlisted for ‘Baker of the Year’ in the annual Baking Industry Awards", "text":""}, { "startDate":"2001", "endDate":"", "headline":"The 6th Generation", "text":"

Dawn, the eldest daughter of Philip and Claire, having had experience in the bakery since a child, decides to join the business. Returning from a successful accountancy career in London with her accountant husband Dirk.

Continuing the local emphasis of the business in location and quality, during a period of dramatically changing shopping habits and the decline of the traditional high street, Gerrards Direct was started using custom built mobile bakery shops. These deliver directly to workplaces in areas within a 30 mile radius bringing fresh bakery products to customers in their workplace.

", "asset": { "media":"http://gerrardsbakery.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/1971.jpg", "credit":"", "caption":"Dawn starts her training early with Grandad, James Gerrard Jones" } }, { "startDate":"1988", "endDate":"1999", "headline":"Awards", "text":"

To celebrate 150 years we updated our marketing image of the company and started entering the National Baking Industry Awards, receiving the Catering Baker of the Year award, Marketing Award, Independent Baker Award, and Customer Service Award over the next ten years.

Our products continue to win awards annually.

", "asset": { "media":"http://gerrardsbakery.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/1991.jpg", "credit":"", "caption":"Philip Gerrard Jones accepting 'Catering Baker of the Year' award." } }, { "startDate":"1964", "endDate":"", "headline":"Philip takes over the business", "text":"

Philip marries Claire, trained in hotel management, and then they took over running the business when his father retired, maintaining the family commitment to finest local ingredients for taste and freshness, and with an aim to keep the business local.

As demand grew customers wanted Gerrards’ products available where they lived and shops began to be opened, some with teashops in local areas where there was customer demand.

The incredible changes in shopping patterns over the next 40 years meant that staying flexible in locations was essential to the survival of the business.

"}, { "startDate":"1956", "endDate":"1958", "headline":"Phillip joins the business", "text":"

James’ son, Philip, having been taught the baking craft from the cradle, went to the leading Bakery School in Manchester for two years to learn all aspects of patisserie and baking. He then joined his father in the business.

"}, { "startDate":"1945", "endDate":"1955", "headline":"Retail shops open in Wrexham", "text":"

James Gerrard (always called Gerrard) decided to open retail shops and cafes, also to supply local wholesale customers.

The first shop apart from the one at the bakery was in Lambpit Street, Wrexham. The second, Church Street Wrexham shop and café was bought between 1951-1955, three shops became a shop and busy café, serving 3 course lunches and wonderful home cooked food. This was run by James wife Annie until she retired aged 75.

"}, { "startDate":"1936", "endDate":"1945", "headline":"The War Years", "text":"

Food was rationed, as were bakery ingredients.

The bakery was busy, with an all women team, and was contracted to the forces to supply all the canteens at the ordnance factories built at Marchwiel, now the Wrexham Industrial Estate. This was 1700 acres of ordnance factories with about ten thousand women employed.

As it was impossible to buy machinery in the war the bakery was given a license to purchase a drawplate oven a so much bread was needed.

Gerrards kept the Offa Herd of Wessex saddleback pigs on a field up the road from the bakery, where the Ambulance Station exists now, this provided the pork. They kept chickens for eggs, grew blackcurrants and other fruit across the road on allotments, for jam and fruit fillings, and bought a chip shop in Rhos, not to sell chips, but for the fat allocation it had. This enabled them to fry more doughnuts, the only treat food that there were available ingredients to make.

"}, { "startDate":"1922", "endDate":"", "headline":"Alice Gerrard Jones", "text":"", "asset": { "media":"http://gerrardsbakery.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/1922.jpg", "credit":"", "caption":"Alice Jones (4th Generation) outside the Ruthin Road bakery and shop in Wrexham" } }, { "startDate":"1919", "endDate":"", "headline":"Butter & Eggs", "text":"

Once they were old enough Alice ran the shop and James Jnr delivered products by horse and trap. Keeping up with technology James Jnr persuaded his father to purchase a motorised vehicle to deliver their products. This meant that the horse was able to be retired, and James Jnr obviously had less work in the care of the horse, which had lived in the stable behind the bakery.

As the vehicle was only required early in the morning, James was expected to help pay for its upkeep by using it as a taxi service from Brook Street in Wrexham. Many ex- servicemen back from the war who had no job were also doing the same.

James Jnr preferred to use another way to pay for the vehicle, and went on to use his salesmanship to build up the business by supplying every corner shop in the area. He sold products on taste , freshness and wonderful local ingredients. In those days even the yeast was from the local brewery and the flour from Cobden Mill, Watery Road, Wrexham, round the corner from the Bakery. It was simple to source wonderful farm fresh ingredients. He was known affectionately by his customers as “butter and eggs”.

"}, { "startDate":"1903", "endDate":"", "headline":"Gerrards start delivering", "text":"

As with many family businesses the brothers fell out. James Gerrard wished to stay as a smaller craft baker, so moved to Ruthin Road Bakery, living over the business with his wife and two children, Alice and James Jnr. Another daughter, Winifred , was born in 1908. The family were taught the craft from their youth.

James ran a small bakery and shop , making the products and delivering them by horse and trap to local farms on what was called “the country round”. In those days farmers had many workers on the land, and would need upwards of twelve loaves daily to feed them. In those days these were loaves of 4 pounds in weight.

", "asset": { "media":"http://gerrardsbakery.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/1903.jpg", "credit":"", "caption":"James Gerrard Jones (4th Generation) on his country delivery round through the Bangor on Dee floods (immortalised on a postcard!)" } }, { "startDate":"1867", "endDate":"1903", "headline":"The Business Grows", "text":"

Elizabeth and Samuel had a daughter Polly, and three sons, James Gerrard, Richard, and Oswold. All the young family were sent back to Grandma Mary Gerrard regularly to help in her bakery, and be taught the craft of baking.

Wrexham was a busy market town. Polly followed grandma Mary as a business entrepreneur, running a gentlemans barbers and tobacconist in Regent Street, Wrexham. She outlived two husbands, Charles King and Albert Lovatt, and helped her daughter in law, Edie King , to establish a ladies hat shop in Abbott street on Madeira hill in Wrexham.

James Gerrard, with his brothers, built a large business, supplying a busy barracks together with local independent shops and farms.

"}, { "startDate":"1867", "endDate":"", "headline":"Bakery opens in Wrexham", "text":"

Elizabeth married a coachbuilder on the Westminster Estate, Samuel Jones, and they moved to Wrexham to live and followed Mary Gerrard lead, opening Hightown Bakery.

", "asset": { "media":"http://gerrardsbakery.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/1880.jpg", "credit":"", "caption":"Gerrards first bakery in Wrexham" } }, { "startDate":"1858", "endDate":"", "headline":"Teashop opens in Chester", "text":"

Elizabeth and Alice opened a teashop in Brook Street, Chester, running it until they married, baking products from Mary Gerrard recipes.

"}, { "startDate":"1838", "endDate":"", "headline":"The Baking Begins", "text":"

James went blind, and their third daughter Jane was born. Needing to support the family, Mary started baking using freshly produced ingredients from the local farms.

"}, { "startDate":"1812", "endDate":"1836", "headline":"Mary Gerrard is born", "text":"

Mary Gerrard founder of the company was born, daughter of a farmer in Comberbach,Cheshire. Mary married a printer, James Winpenny. Together they have two daughters, Elizabeth and Alice.

"}, { "startDate":"", "headline":" ", "text":"" } ] } }